ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Become a Better Writer: Write Every Day

Updated on November 17, 2011

Natalie Goldberg

Write Every Day

Want to become a better writer? Many people do. But what seperates the successful, working writers from the pipe dreamers? According to some of those successful working writers, the answer is simply sitting down and doing it.

Many writers recommend writing everyday. It can be in a journal or a notebook. It can be thoughts, observations or stream of consciousness. You can work on story ideas or what ever you like. The point is simply to write. It says in The Virginia Woolf Writers' Workshop that the purpose of this practice is to "sharpen the eye and ear or to warm up the mind for writing," whether anything comes of a particular entery or not. Poet and teacher, Natalie Goldberg, likens writing practice to running: "the more you do it, the better you get at it."

Beware the Angel in the House

Finding the time to write everyday sounds simple enough, but when it comes to practice, watch out. Virginia Woolf talks about having to kill her "Angel in the House," a selfless caretaker who puts everyone else's needs ahead of her own-- who thinks that her own work is unimportant.

Writer Ariel Gore talks about having to fight for one's time. Because she works at home, there is always someone who needs something, that they would likely not be asking her for were she working in an office somewhere. It even becomes difficult, she explains, to take herself seriously, reasoning that it would not take long to just put the laundry in the dryer, take the dog out, etc, etc, etc. She says it is especially difficult when you have yet to make any money from writing.

Put the Editor in the Closet

So, in order to become a better writer, one must write everyday? Yes. But that does not mean that one must produce award-winning work. On the contrary, Virginia Woolf said that allowing oneself to write badly is the only way to learn. And sometimes allowing oneself to meander and play can lead to new ideas for stories or insights into what direction to take a work in progress.

Sitting down to practice with an expectation, in mind, of writing something phenominal or simply telling yourself that you are going to write a story or a poem (unless you already have the work in mind) is the quickest way to freeze yourself. Natalie Goldberg recommends saying to yourself, "I am free to write the worst junk in the world."

Goldberg, in her book, Writing Down the Bones, gives more specific instructions for writing practice:

1. Keep your hand moving.

2. Don't cross (anything) out.

3. Don't worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar.

4. Lose control.

5. Don't think. Don't get logical.

6. Go for the jugular. (If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it.)

Ariel Gore tells her students, "Forget the rules, write the story."

According to the experts, however you go about it, if you want to become a better writer, then the first thing you must do, is simply write.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I agree that treating writing as a discipline is helpful. As a journalist, I have to write every day, regardless of how I feel. However, after ten years of newswriting, I do think I am growing stale and am really aching to try something new. Writing has become a chore, without any excitement or creativity, for the most part.

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from a room of one's own

      I'm sure they are applicable in many fields.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 

      8 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      This hub is interesting. The instructions by Goldberg remind me of some art and design classes I have taken.

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from a room of one's own

      Practice definitely makes perfect.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is a great reminder of something I need to set aside time for daily!!! Thanks!

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from a room of one's own

      I'm glad you enjoyed it. I wish I took the time to follow my own advice.

    • Ann810 profile image


      9 years ago from Sunny Cali

      Hi Brightmeadow, I like this article, good information. I like to write since a teenager writing in my diaries, and writing short essays for school. Writing every day makes a lot of since to me. Thanks voted up.

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from a room of one's own

      Thanks. I appreciate the visit. I'll have to check out your hubs.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm rereading a room of one's own right now, and I'm hoping to publish a hub about it sometime soon. Nice to meet another fan :)

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from a room of one's own


      Wow! 2000 words/day. . . I bow to you. I agree, the little red lines in Word make me crazy,too. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      9 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I usually do write every day. My personal challenge is 2,000 words per day. "Don't worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar." But I cannot totally follow this advice. I must edit. I cannot leave something misspelled or save Word if those little red lines are there. OCD? I suppose. Thanks for the hints and encouragement.

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from a room of one's own

      Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. It's been a busy weekend. Thank you all for stopping by.

      Dale, it sounds like you give good advise. So far I have not managed to work in a time to write everyday, but with so many great writers recommending the habit, I know I ought to try harder.


      I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I, too, need to follow the advice for writing practice.


      I have places where I stash writing, but I would love to start some fabulous, messy journal, too.


      Glad you enjoyed the hub. Not to push or anything, but if you like Virginia Woolf, you really should check out The Virginia Woolf Writers' Workshop.


      Glad you stopped by. I hop there was something useful in there for you. Thanks for stopping.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I always love reading about other's perspectives on writing. Very good points!

    • Skylar Spring profile image

      Skylar Spring 

      9 years ago from New York

      Great tips and information. I love the literary references to writers like Woolf. Great hub! Voted up, useful and awesome!

    • sasanka7 profile image


      9 years ago from Calcutta, India

      Very inspiring hub. Six instructions are superb for a lazy writer and I am one of them. I'll remember your instructions specially the third one. Thanks for sharing.

    • LisaKoski profile image


      9 years ago from WA

      This is really useful information for those who really want to improve. I've already been able to work at some of it but other things like keeping a journal I really want to get myself to start doing. Voted up :)

    • Dale Mazurek profile image

      Dale Mazurek 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Very good sound information. I always tell people to write, write some more and when you are done write again.

      Good job, voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)